Catalina Island Drought: First Person

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I got to go on the annual Harvest field trip to Catalina Island. The trip overall was fun with many different activities, including a high and low ropes course, snorkeling, kayaking , and more! However, during this trip I noticed a few problems with the camp. For one, the whole island is in a massive drought, the island having the worst drought it has ever experienced and being with a lack of clean, fresh water. So far, this island is the driest spot on the coast of California.

The island, being in a horrible drought had made up their own CIMI (Catalina Island Marine Institution) challenge. Called the CIMI (See-Me) challenge. Where any student who spends a week on the island is challenged to not take a shower, and even if they did the limit was a three minute shower to preserve water. Now it wasn’t just this tacit they used to preserve water, they also had signs in both bathrooms saying “If it’s yellow let it mellow. If it’s brown flush it down.” Having heard the instructors speak, I and other students learned every time you flush a toilet, you waste one tub of water.

With the island once again lacking drinkable water, this is very important. And, as the weather was very hot fires were a problem as well, with the students having to practice fire drills and to keep everyone hydrated each child had to drink water as well. This was dangerous itself as the water the island has left is very precious. Still, the camps on the island are in danger of closing due to the lack of water. Each meal every student and teacher/chaperon, and every other person eating had to use paper plates and plastic eating utensils so they wouldn’t waste water washing dishes.

Overall, all students have a blast on this week long field trip and it would be a sad day for all if the camps were to close. Even after all the precautions the camps have taken to preserve water, which has lowered the amount of water used, water levels are still dropping. Tourists also love to go to the island and see the beauty it holds, but they may not understand the danger they are causing animals, and even humans on the island by using as much water as they do.

However, there are steps we can take to preserve what little water is left. For one we could set a timer on the showers, as when the students were on the field trip they were supposed to only take three minute showers, but the water didn’t shut off after that amount of time. So we could possibly set timers so the students would know when to end their showers. We could also have the students take small breaks so they don’t overwork themselves into dehydration and then possibly have them drinking less water.

It may just be little steps, but water is very important to life, in fact, you can’t have life without water. So hearing this was a strike to all and now everything must be done to save the water Catalina Island has so more people can continue to visit without having to worry about preserving water as much as they do now, and be able to have fun without worry of the camp closing.